Nicholas F. LaRusso, M.D., is the Charles H. Weinman Endowed Professor of Medicine, the former Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Centers for Innovation (CFI) and Connected Care (C3), and a Distinguished Investigator of the Mayo Foundation. He has also held positions as Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Medicine (DOM), Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Chair of the DOM, all at Mayo Clinic.
In 2005, while Chair of the DOM, he created the Program in Innovative Health Care Delivery that included SPARC, a multidisciplinary team of designers and project managers embedded in the Mayo Clinic clinical practice. His approach to transforming the experience and delivery of health care is based on the disciplines of innovation and design thinking; it was modeled on the scientific method including observation, hypothesis generation, prototypes and pilots. This effort led to the creation in 2008 of the CFI currently employing over 50 individuals from diverse disciplines. Subsequent to launching the CFI, Dr. LaRusso developed the strategy and business plans for Mayo’s new Center for Connected Care with a mission of extending Mayo’s expertise beyond bricks and mortar.
Dr. LaRusso received his undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) from Boston College, his M.D. degree from New York Medical College, and his training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Mayo, the latter as an NIH fellow in the laboratory of Alan Hofmann. Before assuming a faculty position at Mayo, he was a guest investigator at the Rockefeller University in the laboratory of the Noble laureate, Christian de Duve. A member of the American Association of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, he is the former editor of GASTROENTEROLOGY and past president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Among other honors, he is a recipient of a MERIT Award and the Principle Investigator on two R01s and on a Silvio Conte Digestive Diseases Center grant, all from NIH. He has received Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Mayo Alumni Association and both the AGA and the AASLD, the Distinguished Mentor Award and the Julius Friedenwald Medal from the AGA, and was ranked in the top 1% of physicians in the country by US News and World Report.